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RESEARCH ARTICLE
Year : 2022  |  Volume : 17  |  Issue : 8  |  Page : 1809-1813

Efficacy and safety of transcutaneous auricular vagus nerve stimulation combined with conventional rehabilitation training in acute stroke patients: a randomized controlled trial conducted for 1 year involving 60 patients


1 Department of Neurology, The Second Affiliated Hospital of Chongqing Medical University, Chongqing, China
2 Department of Neurology, Chongqing General Hospital, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences; Chongqing Key Laboratory of Neurodegenerative Diseases, Chongqing, China
3 Department of Neurology, West China Hospital of Sichuan University, Chengdu, Sichuan Province, China
4 Clinical College, Chongqing Medical and Pharmaceutical College, Chongqing, China

Correspondence Address:
Ling-Chuan Niu
Department of Neurology, The Second Affiliated Hospital of Chongqing Medical University, Chongqing
China
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Source of Support: This work was supported by the Medical Scientific Research Project of Chongqing Municipal Health Commission of China, Nos. 2018ZDXM022, 2019MSXM017 and 2020MSXM106; and a grant from Chongqing General Hospital of China, No. 2019ZDXM03 (all to LCN and JXM), Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/1673-5374.332155

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Transcutaneous auricular vagus nerve stimulation (ta-VNS) is a novel noninvasive treat-ment for stroke that directly stimulates the peripheral auricular branch of the vagus nerve. There have been recent reports that ta-VNS combined with conventional rehabilitation training promotes the recovery of neurological function of patients with acute stroke. However, these were small-sample-sized studies on the recovery of neurological function in patients after percutaneous vagus nerve stimulation in the subacute and chronic phases after stroke. This double-blinded randomized controlled trial involved 60 acute ischemic or hemorrhagic stroke patients aged 18–80 years who received treatment in the Second Affiliated Hospital of Chongqing Medical University. The subjects were randomly assigned to receive ta-VNS or sham ta-VNS combined with conventional rehabilitation training. The follow-up results over 1 year revealed that ta-VNS combined with conventional rehabilitation training greatly improved the recovery of motor and sensory functions and emotional responses compared with sham ta-VNS combined with conventional rehabilitation training. There were no obvious side effects. These findings suggest that ta-VNS combined with conventional rehabilitation training for the treatment of acute ischemic or hemorrhagic stroke patients is safe and effective.


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